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Thread: Desert Assault by Data East

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    celerystalker is a poindexter celerystalker's Avatar
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    Default Desert Assault by Data East

    Last week I got in a Desert Assault pcb, which is also known as Thunder Zone in Japan. I picked it up both for my tournament yesterday and just for fun. It's the sequel to Bloody Wolf, but where that game had a lot of varied objectives, Desert Assault eschews all of that in favor of frenetic action. It also ups the ante with 4-player simultaneous co-op, which creates a flashing, chaotic top-down run 'n gun.

    I can't think of many 4 player games in this style. It adds quite a bit, and the game has a lot of nice touches to take advantage of it, such as being able to carry wounded comrades to keep them in the game, each character having different starting weapons, and vehicles with driver/gunner capabilities. I'm really digging it so far, and the more players, the more fun it is to play.

    Anyone familiar with this one?

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    Peach (Level 3) Koa Zo's Avatar
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    This isn't a game I've ever heard of. Considering how well known Operation Wolf is it is surprising that Desert Assault never gets any attention.
    Looks like a great game for multiplayer. 4-player must be pretty wild, if not confusing.
    Do the enemies in the first stage have skull heads? (it's hard to tell from the videos I'm seeing)

    Ya'know, this is the type of game I wish Watermellon would have done for the Genesis rather than a beat-em-up.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Koa Zo View Post
    This isn't a game I've ever heard of. Considering how well known Operation Wolf is it is surprising that Desert Assault never gets any attention.
    Looks like a great game for multiplayer. 4-player must be pretty wild, if not confusing.
    Do the enemies in the first stage have skull heads? (it's hard to tell from the videos I'm seeing)

    Ya'know, this is the type of game I wish Watermellon would have done for the Genesis rather than a beat-em-up.
    They're wearing turbans. It came out right after the Gulf War started, so middle eastern villains were all the rage. It's a blast in multi-player. I had two groups of four have a go at it Saturday, and none of them had heard of it, but they all left pretty into it. I tried to take some pics, but my phone's camera speed can't keep up, so they've come in blurry as hell. HG101 has an article, though, if anyone is more curious:

    http://www.hardcoregaming101.net/dat...tcommando2.htm

    I'd been looking for a board at a good price for years, so I was glad to pick it up. It wasn't very pricey, as I don't think many folks have paid it much attention. It seems to be better known to MAME players as Thunder Zone, but being from the US, I only ever knew it as Desert Assault.

    I agree, though... as well as Mercs went on the Genesis, this would probably look pretty great in the right hands. As is, I don't think it ever had any home ports, and seems to be a forgotten part of Data East's catalog. I like it as a different type of 4-player experience. There are plenty of beat 'em ups and sports games, but I can't think of another overhead run 'n gun. I have some good brawler pcbs, like TMNT and Ninja Baseball Bat Man, but I really dig co-op in other styles, like my GI Joe board, Sunset Riders, and now Desert Assault along with a few sports games like WWF Wrestlefest and US Championship V'ball.

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    Peach (Level 3)
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    I picked this one up about 15 years ago for about $40, never regretted it. I remember playing it back when it was first released in arcades and it always stuck out to me as an elusive high quality game that never got a home port.

    While it's not groundbreaking it really stands as the definition of an arcade style game. Fast paced, multiplayer, very loud with lots of voice clips and blood curdling screams, a cool rock music soundtrack; basically everything you'd want for a 10 minute/25 cent experience and way beyond what you'd find on contemporary home systems.

    I've never found much info on it, are the 3-4 player hookups the two extra pin connections on the board? If so, how are the connectors wired and does any other 3-4 player game use this same type of connector? This is the only 4p PCB I've ever owned so I have no experience dealing with that.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Az View Post
    I picked this one up about 15 years ago for about $40, never regretted it. I remember playing it back when it was first released in arcades and it always stuck out to me as an elusive high quality game that never got a home port.

    While it's not groundbreaking it really stands as the definition of an arcade style game. Fast paced, multiplayer, very loud with lots of voice clips and blood curdling screams, a cool rock music soundtrack; basically everything you'd want for a 10 minute/25 cent experience and way beyond what you'd find on contemporary home systems.

    I've never found much info on it, are the 3-4 player hookups the two extra pin connections on the board? If so, how are the connectors wired and does any other 3-4 player game use this same type of connector? This is the only 4p PCB I've ever owned so I have no experience dealing with that.
    Yes, they are the 2 extra 15 pin connectors on the pcb. They're wired the same as the Konami harnesses used in games like TMNT, GI Joe, Simpsons, etc.

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    I've tried to get some nice pics, but the game moves fast, so without a proper capture device, it ain't happening. So, here's tge best of the blurry:

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Peach (Level 3) Koa Zo's Avatar
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    I watched some parts of youtube vids of Desert Assault. Looks like a great game from that era. I'm surprised it never turned up in any of the arcades in my area back then.
    The end stage "Mission Accomplished" voice is pretty serious stuff! lol

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